Thursday, May 28, 2020

COVID Student Journal: I’m so glad that I took a stress management class

(Student Submission Spring 2020)

Throughout this pandemic a lot of things has changed tremendously affecting my life and many others surrounding me. When the coronavirus first came intact a lot of people were taking it as a joke and not very serious at all , which made the case even worse. This has been a hardship for all us but the best thing to do is social distance ourselves and protect our families. In this Era I never thought that I would be experiencing an outbreak like this , it’s crazy. It’s actually super weird in fact because this is something the United States was not looking forward to , hopefully it all ends pretty soon.

All I remember is seeing many foreigners from all around the world die and get sick from the coronavirus, never knew it was going to make its way to the United States in such a quick manner. But it was too good to be true. The hardest part about the coronavirus occurring when it did was taking away school. Online classes are somewhat cool but in the same sense it can be very challenging, uneasy and difficult to navigate when you don’t have all your proper materials. The first week of this pandemic was by far the worst , especially the first day. When school was cancelled I panicked and procrastinated so much because I just didn’t think that I would be able to finish all my classes. At first things were going great with my classes but I began to lack off because I lost focus. I missed going to school, learning the material and gaining more knowledge from my peers and professors. Online school just began to feel like the professors were just throwing out work just because , it was a challenge. A huge challenge for me and I didn’t like it all all.

During the second day of experiencing this pandemic I had no idea what my next move was going to be. School was already canceled and I had no family in Tallahassee besides my roommates who happen to be my cousins. However , we knew that we would have to finish our work and turn everything in on time but still we wanted to go home to our families in Jacksonville. We decided to stay home for a few days when they announced the coronavirus but then we left because it was no need of us to be in Tallahassee when school was canceled. Even though that’s where our apartment was we wanted to go home , I mean who wouldn’t want to quarantine with their family during a time like this. Especially teen girls we really didn’t know what was going on , it was all just a lot. The hardest thing about driving back and forth between Tallahassee and Jacksonville was deciding how long we would stay. Coming home is always a great feeling especially during hard times but it can also be a distraction when you need to get things done.

On the third day things are aren’t as bad as the news and other sources are making things seem. I’m home in Jacksonville with my family and all were doing is slouching around because we don’t want to go outside and expose ourselves to this virus. Personally I’m trying to knock out some of these work assignments that the professors have given but I’m having a hard time. Why ? When I came down with my cousin I left my laptop in Tallahassee, now I’m trying to do all my work on my iPad which turned out okay for some assignments. Also not okay for some because it’s so tiny I had to zoom in on a lot of the notes that were given. Being home felt good but I began to drift away from my work because I hadn’t seen my family in awhile. In that case some of my assignments were turned in late because I lost focus and began forgetting all about them. I began to text my cousin and ask was she having the same problem and she responded “ Yes “ the next morning we headed back to Tallahassee to get caught up on our work at least for the next few days. Being home in Tallahassee is very peaceful and quiet because it’s just us so it’s always good places to study and do work with no distractions.

However , during this week my printer broke and my laptop was doing the same exact thing and I began to get really irritated. The whole time I’m thinking how am I going to finish these assignments, if this was going to be the case I could have just stayed in Jacksonville where I was basically facing the same problem. Then since the COVID-19 had already taken place our office was closed , we couldn’t access the printer , the pool , the gym or even sit back and study everything was just a mess and outrageous. I’m super glad my professors were understanding throughout this pandemic they began giving assignments with no deadlines and that was a plus. Very sufficient and effective as well because it gave me time to get myself together and reboot for the time being. Couple days later my laptop started working again and I was able to submit my assignments like normal and I was ecstatic.

The next day me and my cousin decided we were going to be staying in Tallahassee for a few more days so we realized that we were going to go grocery shopping because our food was getting low. However we weren’t thinking and it was going to be a race for the food for sure. With the COVID-19 pandemic the supplies in grocery stores were super low not only were people gathering a lot of food for their households , they were also taking all the tissue , alcohol, hand sanitizers and more. At this point it was every family for themselves. Happily we were able to get a few items to hold us over until more supplies and needs became available. Another thing that I disliked with this pandemic is wearing protective masks every where you go. It was needed to protect me but they were super hot on your face and after a period of time it would get aggravating. I noticed that in grocery stores a lot of people would wear gloves I guess to protect themselves , but in reality it was no point because they were touching everything in the stores and putting it back then touching there faces. I just felt like if you’re going to wear gloves at least change them , then they were leaving the store getting in their cars touching their steering wheel with those same gloves , still promoting germs.

While in Tallahassee my sister was eight months pregnant but her water broke early and the baby was coming soon. I was so sad because I was missing my nephews birth and I really wanted to be there , but with this coronavirus spreading rapidly I wasn’t going to make it anyways. Around 3a.m my mom and sister called me when my sister was having contractions they got up and drove her to the hospital as fast as they could , when they arrived to the hospital she was already dilated 9 centimeters she was basically about to give birth. Upon arriving to the hospital all of the hospital doors were locked and the security saw her knocking on the door didn’t open it , just directed them to go to the opposite side of the hospital. She could have given birth outside and they didn’t even care when I found that out I was very upset because I feel like something else could have been done for her, she’s about to give birth for gods sake.

When she gets in the hospital no one is allowed to go in with her , mind you she’s only 17 years old. Good thing she was dilated fast , when she got in her room it was time to push and about a hour later my nephew was here. No one could go see the baby and no one could sit in the waiting room she was in the hospital 3 days by herself. Thankfully they let his father come but he was only allowed to stay for 2 hours then he had to leave , it was a pretty emotional experience for her and us as well because she had no support while giving birth. This pandemic took that away for her and she felt that it wasn’t fair at all. She also didn’t like the hospital food that they were trying to feed her , we were happy that she had a great nurse who allowed my family to take her food and the nurse would come down to get it. After her 3 days went by the nurses cleared her and the baby and sent them home. However, when they got home a lot of the family wasn’t allowed to come around the baby because of this virus spread , it was for his safety and to protect his immune system because he’s to small to be getting sick and we wanted to prevent that from happening.

Experiencing this pandemic became even worse , my job closed and I was making no money and I had rent coming up. My job wasn’t paying for unemployment and things just got worse. My apartment manager gave everyone more time to pay their rent , which helped me a little but not much. I was still thankful. Not working was just something that I wasn’t use to and I began to feel useless, I was stressed , depressed , overwhelmed and filled with anxiety it was a rough experience. My mom is also a single parent and she had to pay both of our bills during this pandemic because I didn’t have it. The sad thing is her job was cutting her hours and at this point both of our money was getting very slow. In school I go so hard because I want to be successful and be able to take care of my mom and my family one day. During this pandemic we prayed like never before hoping that we could get everything done and just put ourselves in a better position to stay alive and have a roof over our head. My mom sacrificed for me so many times and it’s mandatory I do the same thing for her.

Not working was just not an option for me I had to figure out a hustle to survive and make some type of money. I came up with a business that consisted of me customizing crocs with rhinestone and patches , they turned out pretty well and people were buying them. I then came up with more ideas and began selling bracelets with the initial they were really cute. One thing I can say that I’ve learned from this pandemic is to never give up or lose focus because in the end you’ll win as long as you’re patient. This pandemic was a blessing in disguise to me because it has taught me a lot more about responsibilities and consistency as well. No matter what is going on in your life you still need to push forth work and remain humble. I’ve seen others grow during this pandemic as well and it makes me think that this virus took place for a reason. Many of my friends , family and I have turned this whole situation into something positive and learned from it. This was a time for me to sit down and really look at life in a different way , it has given me the opportunity to blossom and get clear skin and to just live life no matter what is going on.

I’m such a girly girl so a really hard part about this pandemic was nail shops being closed , it’s absolutely no fun at all. Normally I get my nails and toes down at least twice a month because I use gel polish and literally no shops are open. My hair hasn’t been trimmed since this pandemic has started either , I’m so ready to get dolled up again and go outside. On the bright side my hair is growing really good and I’m excited about that. During this pandemic I have learned to save money most definitely since everything is closed. I think there’s a lot of positive aspects that came along with COVID-19 not everything is negative, but at the same time it’s also what you make it. Throughout these few weeks I have overcame a lot and I’m pretty happy about that.

My biggest issue was most definitely finishing this semester off well and although it was a huge challenge I think I’ve done an awesome job. I started to think of this pandemic as another obstacle that I need to get through and with all of the frustrations my hard work has payed off. I’m passing all of my classes , I’ve done great on my exams and I have no missing assignments; that’s all I wanted to happen despite any thing else. I’m patiently waiting on next semester to come so I can further my career and continue to prevail. I’m thankful for my family , friends and professors who has helped me succeed through this hardship , when they are dealing with it as well. For my professors I know it was even harder for them , being that they have thousands of other students to help succeed; they’re doing a great job and they get all applauds from me. The. COVID-19 might have stopped us from coming to school but it has not stopped us from continuing this journey and pushing through. It wasn’t a easy task at all but we made the best out of it.

A drastic change during this experience was everything closing down , the world looks so different and so weird because there has literally been no cars in the parking lots. It’s like we’re on a different planet and I don’t like it. However, I know that closing things down is probably one of the only options to slowing down the increase in the COVID-19 cases , so that’s pretty understandable. It’s just so boring now there’s absolutely nothing to do except for work , but many people are out of jobs right now. I also give big thanks to the essential workers who are risking their lives to help the world. When I left Tallahassee I came down to Jacksonville to look for jobs while we’re going on summer break and I’ve had pretty good luck , so that’s good. My goal is to work and hustle that way it’ll be a breeze when I go back to school in the fall , I’ll be able to take care of myself with no problems. I’m just hoping and praying that this crisis ends soon so that we can all get back to our regular, normal lives.

One day , I spoke with my mom asking her about the coronavirus and she told me this isn’t her first time hearing about the coronavirus. COVID-19 has been around for years a lot of us just never really payed attention to it and at first I didn’t believe her. Until, I was on Instagram one day and I saw a video of the Simpson’s , in the video they explained everything that was going on in today’s society and I found that pretty interesting to hear. In a way it felt like an eye opener because what else could the government be hiding from us , it just makes you think about things from different perspectives and you want answers. My mom also told me that during her time she has never experienced the world shutting down , this was a first for her. Trump gave out stimulus checks of $1200 dollars that was supposed to be used to help families and their households but to me I felt that he was just trying to buy our votes honestly. I really don’t trust politics , and presidents or anything in that nature because it all seems like lies and nonsense. Then he didn’t even help everyone , college students weren’t even eligible for the stimulus checks and neither were some other people. However , he did help some people and that’s the least he could of down during this pandemic since everyone is basically locked down.

At one point during this pandemic we were supposed to be on curfew but us young people really don’t listen , no one wants to be stuck in a house all day and night. This virus has effected us in many ways and it’s no excitement being stuck in a house. I can say that overall it has taught some people more about the ability to being clean. I now see more people washing and sanitizing their hands more that normal and that’s a good thing , especially with everything that’s spreading. When I have to go out I put my mask on and I walk around with a spray bottle of alcohol just to reduce some germs. Many people are even listening to the news more and following up on articles that discuss this pandemic , finding new ways to approach this situation and deal with. Although being stuck in the house is no fun , many families have been finding new things to do while home. For instance , TikTok which is an app that allows you to dance , skit , sing and much more it’s pretty cool and fun as well.

The COVID-19 has certainly made me more aware of a lot of things that I didn’t really to much pay attention to , by that mean resources on the internet , it made me appreciate essential workers more, maintaining safety distancing and even spending more and more time with my family. Don’t get me wrong I love my family but when I left for college I was more so FaceTiming them , instead of spending time with them. Once I left for college I loved it I didn’t really want to go home. Once this crisis hit I saw lots of people lose there loved ones to this crisis and I would have lost it if that was me. I’m glad that my family started to social distance and quarantine at home to ensure our safety. This virus is no joke at all. It has given me the opportunity to focus more on things that are important to me , it also gave me insights on how I want to fulfill my life after all of this is over. This virus has helped me tremendously although I’m not happy with it at all , it has impacted me in positive ways.

At first I was irritated and stressed about finding a job but when I began to job hunt and look around everything came into place. Many people kept asking me why did I want to work so bad , but they just forgot that we all have bills that does not pay themselves. I’m greatly appreciative of all the jobs that have reached out and contacted me for positions. Besides school finding another job was the next huge challenge that I had to face. In the end , my grades were good I was able to complete all my assignments on and I scored great on my final exams. COVID-19 might have slowed me down at first but in the end I still came out on a positive note and with positive energy. This experience has taught me a lot and made me a better person in a way. I’m so glad that I took a stress management class because it helped me find better ways to be calm in stressful situations and even gave me different approaches for future problems.

When I’m old and gray I can’t wait to tell my grandkids about this crazy pandemic that took place , it’s going to be a great feeling. This was probably one of the craziest things that I have ever faced in my entire 19 years of living , literally the world is on a lockdown and it’s nothing that any of us can do about it. Not only do I want to share this story when I’m older but I can’t wait to tell my nephews when they turn about 10 that way they can understand the hardships that me and their parents faced. This pandemic had a big effect to many people, especially losing jobs. Some people weren’t even able to pay their bills or even provide food for themselves nor their families, this was a true crisis. I’m super blessed to be able to afford my rent and find ways to survive. Hopefully , this virus takes its leap and go away never coming back. Unfortunately, this was one of the worst virus to ever experience, many teenagers around the world don’t even have the opportunity to walk across the stage receiving their diploma.